Southington OKs levy try

SOUTHINGTON – The Southington Board of Education approved placing a 4.9-mill, four-year emergency operating levy on the May 6 primary ballot.

The board, by a 4-1 vote, gave the official reading at Thursday’s meeting, noting that the levy would generate $314,000 annually for emergency needs and day-to-day operations.

Board President Bob Baugher said the levy is different from the one defeated last November only in that it is for four years and not continuous. After four years it would have to be renewed by the voters.

Voters turned down the proposal for a continuous levy by a vote of 54.4 percent against and 45.6 percent in favor. Residents were told before the vote that the district was operating with a $300,000 deficit.

School Treasurer Janet Ward said that if the levy passes, the owner of a $100,000 home would pay $170 annually.

Board member Al Haberstroh, who was elected to the board in November and attended his first meeting, cast the ”no” vote, indicating he wanted more information and time. He said he wanted to know if the amount would be enough to help the district and what other options are available.

In another matter, with very cold weather this week the district used three calamity days, Monday to Wednesday, in addition to two days used in December when there was no heat and a water line ruptured at the school.

Officials noted that having used five days already any additional ones, if they are needed, would require to be made up at the end of the year.

In other action, the board:

Named Baugher as president and Patricia Anderson as vice president;

Approved the following appointments: Anderson as student achievement liaison; Baugher as board’s representative to the Trumbull Career and Technical Center board; Betsy Dunn as financial liaison; Steve Gilanyi as athletic council liaison; and Haberstroh as legislative liaison;

Heard from Ward that the district’s treasurer’s office will assist neighboring Bloomfield-Mespo Local Schools in how direct deposit is done for the employees. She also reported an audit by the state for 2012-13 is being completed in the district this week;

Heard from Gilanyi a meeting will be held Feb. 13 with the artist planning the mural at the school gymnasium;

Accepted the retirement of Darlene Moore, a cafeteria cook, on March 1;

Set meetings for 6 p.m. the third Thursday of each month starting in February. The June date was changed to June 26.